Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences – Department of Anthropology

Publication date: 8 June 2019
Closing date: 25 August 2019
Level of education: Master’s degree
Hours: 38 hours per week
Salary indication: €2,325 to €2,972 gross per month
Vacancy number: 19-373

Are you interested in doing research in China, and specifically in the field of race and migration studies? Is it your ambition to become a top-tier researcher?

The Department of Anthropology is one of the departments in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. We are seeking three PhD candidates for the CHINAWHITE project, which is funded by the European Research Council and led by Dr. Shanshan Lan. The PhD track is part of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) programme group Moving Matters.

What will you be doing?
The Reconfiguration of Whiteness in China is a long term research project which examines the multiple and contradictory constructions of whiteness in China as a result of the rapid diversification of white migrants in the country and the shifting power balances between China and the West. The research includes three doctoral projects:

  1. Performing whiteness in China’s Teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) industry;
  2. Performing whiteness in China’s media, fashion, and entertainment industries;
  3. Performing whiteness in China’s transnational business and entrepreneurship sector

The person appointed will be affiliated with the AISSR’s organized PhD training. The academic work is to result in a doctoral thesis that will be defended at the Faculty of Social Sciences with a view to obtaining the degree of PhD.

  • You are expected to conduct one-year ethnographic fieldwork in China.
  • For the remainder of the employment period, the fellow is expected to live in Amsterdam and take active part in the research environment at the AISSR.
  • Teaching (circa 10% of the time) upon availability.

What do we require of you?
You have:

  • a Master’s degree or equivalent with a relevant specialization within the social sciences or humanities. The degree must have been obtained by the time of application;
  • familiarity or keen interest in ethnographic research methods;
  • independent thinking and critical analytical skills;
  • good collaboration skills and an ability to join interdisciplinary academic communities;
  • preferably previous living or working experiences in China;
  • excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

While the working language for the project is English, candidates who demonstrate ability to collect data in Chinese or Russian are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates who have basic fluency in Chinese and are willing to take a six-month language training course in China (funded by the project) to improve oral Chinese communication skills are also encouraged to apply.

What can we offer you?

A challenging work environment with a variety of duties and ample scope for individual initiative and development within an inspiring organisation. The social and behavioural sciences play a leading role in addressing the major societal challenges faced by the world, the Netherlands and Amsterdam, now and in the future.

To work at the University of Amsterdam is to work in a discerning, independent, creative, innovative and international climate characterised by an open atmosphere and a genuine engagement with the city of Amsterdam and society.

Further information
Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Dr Shanshan Lan

T: +31 (0)6 55325959

The position concerns a temporary appointment of 38 hours per week for a maximum term of four years. The initial appointment is for one year, preferably starting on 1 November 2019. Following a positive assessment and barring altered circumstances, this term will be extended by a maximum of 36 months, which should result in the conferral of a doctorate. We will put together a curriculum which will also include the opportunity to attend training courses and both national and international events.

Your salary will be €2,325 gross per month in the first year and will increase to €2,972 in the final year, based on full-time employment and in keeping with the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities. We additionally offer an extensive package of secondary benefits, including 8% holiday allowance and a year-end bonus of 8,3%.

Job application
The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Does this profile sound like you? If so, we are eager to receive:

application letter describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position. Please specify which sub-project you are interested in and why;
Curriculum Vitae (with a list of education, positions, teaching experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities, including a complete list of publications);
transcript of your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Applicants with education from a foreign university must attach an explanation of their university’s grading system;
contact information for two academic references (no letters of recommendation).
All documents must be in English and uploaded in a single pdf (not zipped). The deadline for applications is 25 August. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.
You may apply online by clicking the link below. ​#LI-DNP

Click here to apply.


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